Gentrification: Finding a Balance
The face of the Hudson Valley is changing due to population shifts, growth and residents’ needs. Many view those improvements as an important evolution. But others are finding themselves left behind — and wondering how they fit into communities once very familiar, but now different.
That issue, gentrification, has been a longstanding focus of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. Its latest effort to provide a framework for the road ahead was a forum, “Gentrification: Finding a Balance,” Dec. 15 at the Lewis Tompkins Hose Firehouse in Beacon. An in-depth report now available from Pattern’s Center for Housing Solutions and Urban Initiatives tackles the issue, suggesting solutions and more.
Keynote speaker Ruben Diaz Jr., borough president of the Bronx, provided a roadmap regarding how his community has rocketed forward via “planning with a purpose” and always keeping residents and their needs and opportunities top of mind.
The result: A community that’s now safer than many of America’s major cities, including Philadelphia, Dallas and Boston. A community with an unemployment rate that’s been halved. A community where private investment is powering new housing, businesses and more. A community where tourism is surging. And a community where residents can still be part of the emerging landscape.
A panel discussion brought the issues home to the Hudson Valley. Beacon Mayor Randy Casale, developer Ken Kearney of Kearney Realty & Development, Dutchess County Planning Department expert Anne Saylor, and moderator Greg Maher of Leviticus 25:23 Alternative Fund, Inc., explained approaches, successes and opportunity.
The forum was held to assist elected officials see how to achieve balance in growth. It also attracted municipal planners, housing officials and community groups considering strategies to stake out the future.